The Syracuse Police Department has a signed memorandum of understanding with Liberty resources for on scene mobile crisis team support for persons in crisis calls for service.  All SPD personnel have been advised that requests for Liberty Resources’ mobile crisis team should be made through the Onondaga County Department of Emergency Communications (911 Center) so that the request is memorialized in the notes of the call.  When 911 contacts Liberty Resources and requests the mobil crisis team, it provides the team’s lead with a brief summary of the call, location of the call and name and contact information for the SPD supervisor on scene.  Liberty communicates with the SPD supervisor to receive any other critical information related to the call and to coordinate the mobile crisis team’s response to the scene.

Both SPD officers and supervisors; and Liberty Resources personnel on the scene effectively communicate with each other to determine the various components involved with the scene; and the level of risk to safety to all parties involved.  To date, once the Liberty Resources team is dispatched to the incident and on scene, SPD has taken a supportive role to the mobile crisis team’s intervention related to the individual in need..

Since April 13, 2021, the Deputy Mayor has convened regular meetings of a stakeholder workgroup consisting of:

  • City of Syracuse staff
  • Onondaga County: Department of Mental Health, 911 Center and Sheriff’s Office
  • Syracuse Police Department
  • Syracuse Fire Department
  • Town of Manlius Police Department
  • Town of Dewitt Police Department
  • Liberty Resources
  • St. Joseph’s Hospital Comprehensive Psychiatric Emergency Program (CPEP)
  • Contact Community Services
  • Center for Court Innovation

The purpose of the workgroup is to establish a Diversionary Response Model to address persons in mental health crisis while reducing the need for police intervention.  This We are pursuing multiple parallel paths:

  1. Creating and deploying a response model, with a targeted implementation during the third quarter of 2021
  1. Create a centralized system which ensures efficient communication between partners and effective service delivery to the person in crisis.
  1. Create a post-crisis mechanism that will assist in identifying potential causes of crisis and support to aid in alleviating future crisis incidents.

This initial group has been established to identify and analyze data related to police involved calls to an incident involving a person in a mental health crisis.  It is important to understand the scope of the issue and volume of calls in order to adequately establish an effective system of response.  In conjunction with data analysis, the workgroup will establish the baseline needs of a response system.  The group will be expanded to include additional community stakeholders engaged in initiatives specific to mental health services and support in diverse communities. The formation of a Diversional Response Model will continue through the 3rd quarter of 2021 with continued assessment of progress as the fourth quarter of the year approaches.

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